Flood update: Wong to reopen to staff next week

Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday, Feb. 8, 4 p.m.

We continue to make progress on cleaning up after the flood. The very good news is that electrical issues have been resolved in the Wong Engineering Building and the drying and mopping up can now continue apace.

This means we expect to be able to open the building to staff on Tuesday, so that labs may be set up, equipment checked and classrooms readied. We expect to be able to resume classes in Wong on Monday, Feb. 18 if all continues to go well.

Professors and staff members who return to the Wong Building next week should be prepared to see drying units and blowers throughout various points in the building. Please be careful not to trip on electrical cords that may be in your path.

The news is not so good for 3534 University, home to McGill’s School of the Environment. The basement suffered extensive damage and requires significant repairs. It has been determined that some of the plaster affected contains low concentrations of asbestos, which will require special procedures. Asbestos only becomes a hazard when disturbed, so a professional abatement firm will be hired to remove asbestos-containing materials prior to  the renovation. During this period,  the basement will be sealed off in order to protect the health of everyone in the building. This process may take  a week or so.

We will conduct frequent air-quality tests to ensure all requirements in that regard are met or exceeded.

This means the basement of 3534 University will be out of service for a considerable amount of time. We’ll have a better sense of just how long that will be within a week or two.

Cleaning and drying work continues in the basement of the Birks Building and Wilson Hall. We will update you on the progress of this work next week. Classes have resumed as normal on the other floors of those buildings.

We expect a general update of this information early next week, unless there are urgent changes in the status of our affected buildings. We will also have more information on how to contact staff relocated to other spaces from the James Annex and the second floor of the James Administration Building.

Thanks again to the dedicated team working very hard to get this mess behind us.

 – Ron Proulx, Associate Vice-Principal (Interim) of University Services 

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